Above: Johnsonville's Tietie Tuimauga is on the bench for this match to play Tasman.
Four players involved in Saturday’s Jubilee Cup final, including Club Rugby’s Premier Player of the Year Du’Plessis Kirifi, have been named in a Wellington Lions XV to play Tasman in their second NPC pre-season fixture in Blenheim on Thursday.
As well as Kirifi, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Dale Sabbagh and Joel Hintz also make the trip to Renwick Park.
Hurricanes squad members Peter Umaga-Jensen, TJ Va’a, Isaia Walker-Leawere, James Blackwell and James O’Reilly join Highlanders representative Thomas Umaga-Jensen in the starting XV.
Wellington Lions head coach Chris Gibbes has made widespread changes to the starting side which faced Auckland at Evans Bay Park last Friday.
Vastly experienced No 8 Thomas Waldrom, loose forward partner Greg Foe and tighthead prop Tolu Fahamokioa return with Trent Renata moving from first five-eighth to fullback and Losi Filipo switching from the right to the left wing.
Blackwell moves from the bench after playing the second half against Auckland along with blindside flanker Galu Taufale.
Thursday’s hit-out will be the last pre-season match scheduled for Wellington Lions hopefuls before Gibbes names his NPC squad on Tuesday.
The Wellington Lions meet Otago at Westpac Stadium in their opening NPC match on Sunday, August 19 at 2.05pm, half an hour before the Wellington Premiership First XV final kicks off at Jerry Collins Stadium.
15 Trent Renata (Oriental-Rongotai)
14 Malo Tuitama (Oriental-Rongotai)
13 Peter Umaga-Jensen (Wainuiomata)
12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Wainuiomata)
11 Losi Filipo (Petone)
10 TJ Va’a (Wainuiomata)
9 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara (Tawa)
8 Thomas Waldrom (Avalon)
7 Greg Foe (Poneke)
6 Galu Taufale (Poneke)
5 Isaia Walker-Leawere (Poneke)
4 James Blackwell (Petone)
3 Joel Hintz (Old Boys University)
2 James O’Reilly (Hutt Old Boys Marist)
1 Tolu Fahamokioa (Tawa)
16 Pasi Uluilakepa (Petone)
17 Sitiveni Paonga (Tawa)
18 Tietie Tuimauga (Johnsonville)
19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Marist St Pats)
20 Mateaki Kafatolu (Petone)
21 Du’Plessis Kirifi (Northern United)
22 Teariki Ben-Nicholas (Old Boys University)
23 Carlos Price (Petone)
24 Dale Sabbagh (Old Boys University)
25 Isaia Petelo (Marist St Pats)
26 Ollie Sapsford (Wellington)